Windows 10 21H2 reaches end of live – forced upgrade to 22H2

Windows[German]Short reminder for Windows 10 users who are still running version 21H2. In June 2023, this Windows will receive security updates for the last time in certain variants and will then be removed from support. Microsoft has therefore started to compulsorily update corresponding machines to version 22H2.


End of support for 21H2

On June 13, 2023, the Windows 10 21H1 Home, Pro, Pro Education and Pro Workstation editions will receive security updates for the last time. This is according to Microsoft's Windows 10 Home and Pro Lifecycle.

Windows 10 Home und Pro Lifecycle

The Enterprise editions of Windows 10 21H2 (Enterprise and Education) are not affected by this end of support. According to the Windows 10 Enterprise and Education Lifecycle, these variants will still receive security updates until June 11, 2024.

Microsoft reminds user about EOL

Microsoft had already posted the article Reminder: End of servicing for Windows 10, version 21H2 Home, Pro, Pro Education, and Pro for Workstations in the Windows 10 Dashboard on the Health Status page on May 12, 2023, with a corresponding reminder. Microsoft wrote:

On June 13, 2023, the Home, Pro, Pro Education, and Pro for Workstations editions of Windows 10, version 21H2, will reach the end of maintenance. The upcoming June 2023 security update, which will be released on June 13, 2023, is the last update available for these versions. After this date, devices with these versions will no longer receive monthly security updates.

However, this is not really a big deal at the moment, since Microsoft supports the free upgrade to the next Windows 10 version 22H2. This version will be provided with security updates until October 2025, after which Windows 10 will be completely removed from support.


Forced upgrade to 22H2

To protect users still running Windows 10 21H2 on the aforementioned editions from unpatched systems, Microsoft is initiating forced upgrades to Windows 10 22H2. To do so, Windows Update will automatically initiate a feature update to version 22H2 for Windows 10 devices running at home as well as at companies in unmanaged enterprise environments.

This policy for upgrading Windows 10 systems that have reached or will reach end-of-life in a few months has been in place by Microsoft since Windows 10, after all. This is to ensure that the device is still supported and receives monthly security updates. After all, the user can choose a favorable time for restarting the completion of the update installation for these devices during the forced update.

Question: Are there any readers at all who are still running Windows 10 21H2 in the variants mentioned (unmanaged systems)? And if so, the question would be, what are the reasons for not switching to version 22H2 so far?

Other important dates

Administratoren should have June 13, 2023 on their radar, which is when the new "hardening phase for CVE-2022-37967" begins for Domain Controllers. Microsoft announced this in the support post 330-Day Reminder: New hardening phase for addressing CVE-2022-37967 starts in June. I had already addressed the issue in early May 2023 in the blog post Windows hardening: Guidances and key dates 2023.

May 9, 2023 was the date Windows 10 20H2 (19042) Enterprise and Education and Windows 10 20H2 IoT Enterprise have received the last security updates. So the affected devices for in managed enterprise environments should have been updated to 21H2 or 22H2, or be updated in a timely manner. In this article, the colleagues from Deskmodder point out further dates for the end of support for various Microsoft products in 2023.

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